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February 16, 2017

Eugene Ballet’s annual foray into more-contemporary work is always a treat to look forward to, and their performance this weekend was nothing short of breathtaking. The program brought out rich subtleties in EBC’s strong corps, and along with a familiar favorite, featured premieres by two notable choreographers.  

Suzanne Haag’s The Surrounding Third opened the show. 

February 16, 2017

The Middle Eastern Dance Group of Eugene, or MEDGE, holds its Annual Alternative Night featuring Ann Shaffer, a member of the fusion dance group Tribalation. Catch belly dancers performing to funky '80s disco grooves, '60s R&B, Van Halen and more, at 8:30 pm Feb. 17 at Whirled Pies; $5.

February 2, 2017

The days are getting a little bit longer, and dance is starting to bloom. 

We recently caught a performance of the U.K.’s Ballet Boyz, part of the inimitable White Bird Dance Series in Portland. Catch the review of the show on the Eugene Weekly blog at bit.ly/2kNAsVw.

Xcape Dance Company presents LOVE at 7:30 pm Feb. 3 at the Hult Center, featuring “real-life LOVE stories, multimedia design and theatrical elements.” Proceeds from this student performance benefit Ophelia’s Place. $15-17.50. 

February 2, 2017

Eugene Ballet Company fulfills a vital role in our community by regularly commissioning and presenting contemporary dance. This season, EBC’s Midsummer Night’s Dream shares the billing with two rising stars: EBC’s own Suzanne Haag and Chicago-based choreographer Stephanie Martinez

“It is important to the mission of Eugene Ballet to expose our audience and our artists to different creative talents,” says Eugene Ballet artistic director Toni Pimble

January 12, 2017

It’s a new year, and you should be dancing:  

Ballet Fantastique Academy’s winter session has begun, and BFan offers a Free Dance Week, Jan. 9-14, at their studio.

Eugene Ballet Academy (EBC) offers a full slate of classes, too, with ballet, hip hop, jazz, modern, tap and creative movement for all ages. 

December 1, 2016

Swing for a cause: Track Town Swing Club hosts a benefit dance for Wellsprings Friends School 7 pm Saturday, Dec. 3, at 3590 W. 18th Ave; $7-$10. See tracktownswing.com.

November 17, 2016

The inspiration for the Glow Variety Show, producer Anna Miller says, “came from an initial spark of wanting to create, with nowhere to put it.” 

So three years ago, the choreographer, artistic director, mother and massage therapist got to work. 

“The show sprang from my asking myself, ‘What do I want to see?’” Miller says. The answer was variety. “Acrobatics, talented young people, dance, all the stuff I love doing,” says Miller, adding, “I thought, ‘Why not create a variety show?’”

November 17, 2016

As we’re heading towards a holiday for giving thanks, I’m thankful for the varied and interesting dance offerings in our community: 

The Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE) presents Portland’s Tiffany Slottke, plus a full lineup of MEDGE performers, at 8:30 pm Friday, Nov. 18, at Whirled Pies (formerly Cozmic); $5. All ages. 

November 3, 2016

Don’t miss the Trauma Healing Project’s 3rd Annual Glow Variety Show at 7 pm Nov. 19 and 2 pm Nov. 20 at the Hult Center. This multicultural extravaganza features music, dance and acrobatics, with proceeds supporting healing arts for survivors of trauma; $28-$31.75. 

October 20, 2016

Ah, October: Corn mazes, jack-o-lanterns, kids in costumes and … undead ballet! 

Eugene Ballet Company revives its masterful Giselle at 7:30 pm Oct. 28 and 2 pm Oct. 30 at the Hult Center. 

“The ballet was first staged for EBC in the fall of 1988 by Louis Godfrey and Denise Shultz, based on the revival staged by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg (The Kirov),” says EBC artistic director Toni Pimble. 

October 6, 2016

Stop binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix and get out into the dance community!

XCape Dance Company presents X at 7:30 pm Friday, Oct. 7, at the Hult, featuring Work Dance Company, ZAPP, The Dance Factory, Flex Studios and music by Isaac Turner and Shelby Trotter. “X embodies the freedom of movement, self-expression, dedication, determination and passion exemplified by the Xcape Dance Company in their unique and inspiring shows,” says artistic director Vanessa Fuller. Tickets at hultcenter.org.

September 15, 2016

Fall performance gets rolling with Dance in Dialogue’s D.i.D.#10 6 to 8 pm Sept. 29 at the Friends Meeting House. “Dance in Dialogue inspires the making and discussion of new work to invigorate the contemporary dance culture in Eugene, by providing a forum for artists to present innovative works-in-progress in a process-oriented setting with audience feedback,” D.i.D. co-founder Shannon Mockli says. Check it out. 

See yourself in sweatpants? There are a number of community auditions and classes on tap: 

September 1, 2016

The fall dance season kicks off when MEDGE (Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene) presents The Hafla Players. “The all-ages show features a new performance group — the Hafla Players, 10 MEDGE musicians and dancers under the direction of John Zeké,” MEDGE’s Denise Gilbertson says. Catch the action, and a pizza, 8:30 pm, Sept. 16, at Cozmic downtown, 199 W. 8th Avenue. See medge.org.

August 4, 2016

Hear ye, hear ye: EW’s annual dance issue is slated for September and we want your dance listings including date, time, location, cost and genre. Please send dance listings to alex@eugeneweekly.com with “Dance Listings” in the email subject line by Aug. 15.

The Eugene Ballet Company (EBC) has received a $200,000 grant from the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, as well as $40,000 from the Hult Endowment, to create a new work: Move over Elsa, here comes The Snow Queen — premiering April 2017. 

July 7, 2016

First, an appeal: If you love dance like I do and long to see performances with national and international reach, please use this lull in local performance to consider a trip to Portland this year to see Whitebird Dance. 

I’ve recently made the easy commute to see the pioneering Twyla Tharp (review at the EW blog: goo.gl/NqYsd7), Kidd Pivot, Cirque Alfonse (which blew my mind) and La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, whose seminal work, What the Day Owes the Night, left me speechless (read more on Koubi here: goo.gl/v2Wzpf)

June 16, 2016

For professional dancer and choreographer Brad Garner, inspiration comes directly from community.

“I’m inspired by community and the relationships among members of a community,” says Garner, whose dance company GARNERDANCES premieres Strings! An Evening of Dance at Oregon Contemporary Theatre June 17-18. 

“I’ve always been intrigued by human behavior — that interaction between people, and how people change in different contexts and group dynamics,” Garner says. 

June 16, 2016

Eugene’s own hula school, Na Pua O Hawai’i Nei (The Flowers of Hawai’i), presents its annual ho’ike exhibition June 25 at Cascade Middle School auditorium, 1525 Echo Hollow Road. All classes will perform, from preschoolers through kupuna (elders). 

It’s all too easy to dismiss this art form. How many tipsy mainland tourists have watched an overpriced hotel hula show and thought, “What’s the big deal? I could do that.” 

June 2, 2016

When it comes to making art, people in the performing arts get a raw deal. 

A poet just needs a pen, right? A studio artist just needs a little space and some supplies. (Unless you work in a medium like cars or buses or something. Please don’t flood my inbox with letters of complaint; I’m just trying to make a point.) 

Anyway, for dancers, rehearsal time is pretty dear: Rents can be prohibitively high for sprung-wood floors, safe for bare feet and careening bodies. And securing a performance venue? Oy. 

May 12, 2016

Eugene Ballet Company presents a rare treat for Eugene audiences Saturday when Portland-based BodyVox returns to the Hult Center with Urban Meadow, a retrospective of work from its 18 dynamic seasons. 

“We wanted to make a show that was repertory,” says BodyVox co-artistic director Jamey Hampton, sitting in the airy lobby of the BodyVox studio and performance space in northwest Portland.  

May 5, 2016

The University of Oregon dance department presents its “Student Dance Concert” featuring new works by Corrina Chow, Constance Kell, Sarah Ginther, Bryn Hlava, Morgan Lander and Darion Smith 8 pm Thursday through Sunday, May 5-8, at Dougherty Dance Theatre, Gerlinger Annex; $8-12 door.

March 31, 2016

Xcape Dance Company presents The Freak Show! with a red carpet and pre-show at 7:30 pm and show at 8:30 pm Friday, April 1, at the Hi Fi Music Hall, featuring “Non Stop hip hop, street jazz, tap, music, side shows, tricks, treats, circus acts and show stoppers,” says the group’s artistic director Vanessa Fuller. Tickets xcapedance.com; $10-$13. 

March 10, 2016

Twenty-five years seems like a significant milestone,” Denise Gilbertson says. 

That’s perhaps the understatement of the new year for the silver anniversary of the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE), of which Gilberston is a member. For any nonprofit arts group to reach the decade milepost, let alone the quarter-century mark, is cause for celebration.

March 3, 2016

Spring is in the air, and dance offerings are starting to bloom, beginning with “In the Studio” with DanceAbility, an inspiring demonstration from their Everybody Can Dance teen program. Celebrate with local teens across a full spectrum of abilities and disabilities as they enjoy the art of dancing together. Guest professional dance artists led by DanceAbility teacher Jana Meszaros will also show an inspiring choreographed mixed-abilities piece with dancer Kelcie Laube.

February 4, 2016

DanceAbility International will be featured on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat and the community is welcome to an open house and viewing party 6:30 to 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 4, at 576 Olive St., Suite 208, with the segment airing on TV at 8 pm.